Category Archive: Leadership

Jan 28

Teleconferencing in Real Life

I work for an international company so my daily work routine consists of numerous teleconference meetings. This video. sponsored by leadercast.com, shows just how comical the meeting would be if the problems faced in a typical conference call presented themselves in a face to face meeting. I hope you enjoy and maybe learn something from the video.

Share what you learn from this video about leading and managing meetings?

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May 15

Review – The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Prithe Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success Nciples for Breakthrough SuccessThe Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Prithe Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success Nciples for Breakthrough Success by Carmine Gallo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this book, Carmine provides seven principles for unleashing innovation. The principles are supported by examples from various industries, which helps to understand how to apply the principles within different scenarios. I recommend the book to those seeking new perspectives about the concept of innovation.

View all my reviews

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Nov 26

17 – The Law of Priorities

Leaders Understand that Activity is not Necessarily Accomplishment

In John C. Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (2007), John shares the law of priorities.

We all have 24 hours in our day. Yet, some people seem to accomplish so much more than others. For some, their accomplishment is at the expense of their families. Others recognize the importance of life-balance and accomplish much while ensuring that they do not forget the other important areas in their life. So how do those leaders complete this feat, while other people seem to wonder aimlessly through life?

Most leaders establish clear priorities for the next phase in their life. Creating a one-year plan is a good first step. Others with a clear vision of the future, may even create a five-year plan. Envisioning your future, creating your plan, and executing that plan is crucial for establishing the focus needed to create your success, regardless of your definition of success.

John suggests considering the following three questions during your planning phase.

Priority Planning Questions

  1. What is required?
  2. What gives the greatest return?
  3. What brings the greatest reward?

The first question addresses the areas of your life that are needed to fulfill your commitments and responsibilities. Maintaining one’s most important relationships comes to mind immediately. Far too many people push this area to the back burner as they pursue their definition of success, only to discover later that failing to maintain those important relationships results in relationships that are damaged beyond repair. I have met people that achieved their definition of success then looked around only to discover their spouse and children are no where to be found. They quickly learned that achieving success was much more costly than ever imagined. All of the perceived benefits of success were minimized because of failing to consider the necessary balance required for a fulfilling life.

The second question focuses on identifying those priority areas with the greatest return. Leaders recognize that Law of Prioritiesactivity is not a one-to-one correlation with results. People that prioritize their efforts to align with high-value returns often recognize greater levels of success than those that get lured into low-value activity. The 80/20 rule comes into play when setting priorities. The 80/20 rule implies that completing the top 20% of the activity returns 80% of the value. Consciously evaluating priorities and applying effort to the high-value items leads to higher levels of success.

The third question focuses on areas that return a high-level of personal satisfaction. Keep in mind that maintaining balance is necessary during the planning of priorities. Items that return a high-level of personal satisfaction energize you to tackle tasks leading to other accomplishments. Everyone needs a time to recharge. This area of planning ensures that your plans incorporate time to recharge. This might include something like golf or attending a seminar. Include whatever you find recharges you to face new challenges.

An important step is to write down the outcomes of your priority planning session because the urgent things in our daily lives tend to overwhelm what is truly important in life. I like to use mind maps to capture the outcomes of my personal planning sessions. Mind maps provide a good visual reminder for me and are easily shared across my electronic devices for referencing and review. The mind map also allows as much detail as necessary for your planning. One of my major goals this year is authoring a book about my family’s caregiving experience for a family member that battled brain cancer for nearly four years. My planning mind map contains an entry for that goal. A more detailed mind map contains the information and steps for completing that goal.

Creating a regular routine for reviewing your priorities and setting goals that align with your priorities is a critical step to maximizing the 24 hours you have in your day.

I would love to hear how you prioritize your goals to accomplish your definition of success.

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Nov 15

Suddenly a Caregiver – Grieving (Part 3 of 4)

This article is part 3 of 4 of the chapter about grief from my soon to be released book – Suddenly a Caregiver. I was the primary family caregiver for my wife who battled brain cancer for nearly four years. The chapter – Grieving – shares the grieving and recovery experience. I hope my experience provides a source of learning for you.

Visit the book page and the Facebook page for book release information. The first 100 people that register will receive a coupon for a free eBook edition upon release.

Read Suddenly a Caregiver – Grieving (Part 1 of 4)

Read Suddenly a Caregiver – Grieving (Part 2 of 4)

 

Anticipatory Grief

Many patients with terminal illness, and family members or friends who care for them often recognize that death will come eventually. They then begin to anticipate the grief. In the case of Lynne’s diagnosis, my research led me to realize the incredible odds against surviving glioblastoma. Despite those odds, I Suddenly a Caregiverdid hold out hope that this case would become an exception, rather than the rule. However, as I reflect back, I realize that I began to anticipate grief while holding on to hope. At some point, I believe Lynne also recognized that the end of her fight was approaching. I believe through her awareness that she helped me prepare for that event. In my case, I believe the anticipatory grief helped me to make the adjustments needed when Lynne passed.

Societal practices try to help people through the grieving process. Funerals provide one such practice. Writing public death notices, writing obituaries, and other traditions contribute to the acceptance of the loss. These help us to face the reality of the loss, which describes a necessary step in the recovery process. Discussing our pain, sharing memories, and sharing experiences help us to face and work through the pain of loss. Recovering from grief includes adjusting to the new environment without a friend, child, parent, spouse, or other loved one. Finally, I hope that we begin to invest anew in our lives while maintain the memories we have of the one who passed.

With the introduction of the Internet, we discover new ways that people can use online communication and build relationships to facilitate the process of grief. In a later chapter, I discuss my use of technology and the Internet during Lynne’s illness. I maintained a blog to facilitate communication with friends and family. The day Lynne died, I posted a message on my blog, and on that same day, over 500 people viewed the message. That post was one-step toward addressing the reality of the loss. As I researched for this chapter, I also located grief forums, where people exchange their situations with other people, mostly strangers but strangers experiencing the grief caused by a loss of their own. The anonymity provided by the online forums supports people in opening up, venting their frustration, anger, and other emotions. It also provides other people an opportunity to show support, encouragement, and provide advice.

Preparation for Grief

Preparation for grief was an important piece of the recovery from my loss. When I say, preparation, you might think that it started during Lynne’s illness. I believe that for me, it started much earlier and demonstrated itself in various ways. Because my dad served as a preacher, exposure to death occurred earlier and more often to me than for most young people. Like most, I lived life as if it were going to last forever; however, the exposure to death created an impression on me. The exposure to death helped me to realize that this life is temporary. This mindset helped me to share my appreciation of others before it was too late. Too many times, I heard others speak about their regrets concerning not sharing how much they loved someone or appreciated his or her example until after the death. I feel that is a pity. I decided to ensure that I tried to share my appreciation with those I cared about while they were still living.

Preparation for loss also included setting aside any grudges, anger, bad feelings, and other things that most of us would regret holding onto after the loss of someone close to us. This also includes apologizing to someone for some wrong that we caused. I discovered that stepping up and apologizing when I was wrong was much better than holding onto that wrong eventually causing a regret following the loss of that special person. Avoiding the apology for the wrong might cause regret eventually, following the loss of that special person. This type of preparation averts the regrets we often feel during a loss, whether the loss is sudden, or resulting from a long illness.

 

In the next part of this series, I will share information about some lessons learned by me and my family.

Please share your comments, thoughts, and suggestions.

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Nov 02

Agile Retrospective and Lessons Learned

When facilitating an agile retrospective as a scrum master or a project lessons learned session with a team, I like to use the following questions to cause the teamcartoons,communicating,communications,conversations,people,persons,Screen Beans®,string cans to reflect and generate discussion. The categories are those that I like to the team to consider. By putting the two together you can ask for a multitude of ideas and thoughts. If the team gets stuck during a retrospective, I will simply ask some questions to open up the lines of communication.

For instance:

What went well related to our planning?
What went well related to our resource management?
What did we learn about testing?
What still puzzles us about our testing?

Questions

  1. What went well?
  2. What did we learn?
  3. What did we struggle with?
  4. What should we do differently?
  5. What still puzzles us?

Categories

  • Planning
  • Resources
  • Project Management/Scheduling
  • Development, Design, Specifications
  • Testing
  • Communication
  • Team, Organization
  • Product
  • Management (Group and Program Managers)
  • Tools and Practices
  • General
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